Effects of the Lower Manawatu River flood control scheme on the farming in the Lower Manawatu : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Geography at Massey University
The Lower Manawatu River Flood Control scheme came into operation in 1963. It was designed to protect 70,000 - 80,000 acres of land in the Lower Manawatu from flooding. The aim of this thesis is to examine the effects this scheme has had on the farming in the protected area. Removal of the risk of frequent and severe flooding has improved conditions for farming, and it is expected that these improved conditions should be reflected in changes in farming activities. Land which was susceptible to the most frequent inundations of floodwater should have received the most benefit from flood protection, while land on which the chance of flooding was remote, should have received the least benefit. The effects of the scheme, therefore, should be reflected to a proportionately greater or lesser extent according to the frequency with which flooding was experienced. Selection of Criteria In order to examine the effects of the flood control scheme, four criteria were selected to be discussed at pre- and post-scheme dates. These weres land values, changes in land use, stock numbers, and production levels. A fifth factor, that of income, would also indicate the effects, but to evaluate the influence of the scheme from income figures would entail carrying out a complete cost-benefit analysis. Taking into account the amount of detailed analysis required by such a method, and the short period of time involved since the completion of the scheme, the results gained from an analysis of this sort would probably not justify the method, since conclusions reached from a cost-benefit analysis could not be expected to differ greatly from conclusions reached by examining the four criteria selected.